IOC executive director for the Olympic Games Christophe Dubi has said they will watch the development some of the new events at Lillehammer closely ©YIS/IOC

International Olympic Committee (IOC) officials have vowed to closely watch the development of some of the new disciplines on the programme here at Lillehammer 2016, while insisting the Games are exceeding their expectations at the halfway point.

Christophe Dubi, the IOC's executive director for the Olympic Games, reserved particular praise for the cross-country cross event, which took place on the first day of competition and featured a specially-designed course, where all competitors raced each other over uphill, jumps and flat sections.

While he stopped short of suggesting that the discipline could be included at future Olympic Games, Dubi appeared enthusiastic about cross-country cross and also monobob - a bobsleigh operated by one person instead of two or four - which makes its Winter Youth Olympics debut on Saturday (February 20).

He did, however, admit that exhibiting sports at the Youth Olympics provides a strong pathway towards being a part of the main Games.

Events such as snowboard and ski slopestyle, as well as ski halfpipe, featured at the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck in 2012 and then went on to make their Olympic debut at Sochi 2014.

“There is a step between what is happening during the Youth Olympics and the Olympic Games,” Dubi said here in response to a question about whether any of the new events could one day feature on the biggest stage.

“Here we are testing a number of new features and the most distinctive ones are cross country cross, which has been extremely positive from all sides including the athletes.

“Testing monobob is also one that will take the sport higher and further.

“We’ll have to watch the development of cross country cross and the monobob through things like the World Cups and the World Championships.”

Christophe Dubi says the IOC have been particularly impressed with the cross-country cross events
Christophe Dubi says the IOC have been particularly impressed with the cross-country cross events ©YIS/IOC

Dubi’s comments follow a spokesperson for the International Ski Federation (FIS) telling insidethegames that the new disciplines would be “evaluated by the responsible FIS Technical staff and Committees after the Youth Olympic Games".

They will ascertain whether "specific aspects of the formats may be included in the World Cup, World Championship formats and/or World Junior Championships”.

The Games here, which have a budget of NOK350 million (£29 million/$41 million/€37 million), have received widespread praise from athletes and officials alike.

Dubi claimed they had “exceeded the expectations” of the IOC and admitted they were confident that the organisers would be able to deliver on their promises before the event began.

“We have all reasons to be extremely satisfied - we knew it would be successful because of the work that they have done,” he said.

“We were convinced with the conditions they had, including the venues, that they would do it.”